15% less forest fire cases in 2020 as compared to 2018, says Telangana State PCCF
- 24/7 monitoring, fire alert system and control in place
- Satellite- captured forest fires include pre-emptive measures taken by Forest Department
Hyderabad: The State Forest Department (SFD) dismissed the allegation that thousands of fire accidents are taking place in the forests in Telangana. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), R Shobha said on Friday that all necessary measures to prevent and mitigate the fires have been taken.
It said that there were 12,292 accidents in 2018 and 12,255 in 2019 aggregated as of April 16, this year. However, the satellites have recorded 10,415 fires so far this year, registering a 15 per cent reduction compared to the last two years.
The department has analysed 9,595 (92 per cent) of the fire alerts at the field level and prepared a report. Of the alerts in 113 areas recorded this year, there were no actual accidents, it said.
Giving details of the same, the SFD said 245 fires were reported outside the forest areas. Besides, 2,519 works of the department like the Advance Operations for next year plating, has also been reported as fire by satellites. Similarly, the department creates fire lines to prevent them from spreading. During these operations, garbage was burned at 314 locations which were also recorded as fires. Out of these, 89 fires were actually for maintenance of old fire lines, it added.
That apart, farmers in RoFR Patta lands are putting fire as part of crop preparations which account for 268 such alerts. Besides, 314 fire alerts were from the encroached forest lands.
The PCCF said that the field inspections reveal that the reported fire alerts are due to the rising temperatures during the past few days because of the summer. The officials have further clarified that the duplication rate was also high in the data sent by two satellites on the fires. This means that the number of accidents in a single location in a day is reported twice and even higher as the two satellites will be passing over the country at different timings. This results in duplication of reporting the fire alert more than once. The officials clarified that the matter is being brought to the attention of the FSI (Forest Survey of India) authorities. Efforts are on to remove such duplication.